Less is More, Part 2: Feeding the Machine

The first part of this series focused on some concepts to start thinking about as it pertains to maximizing ourselves and our gear. This post is going to be focusing on the human half of the equation again.

Even if we had an unlimited budget to buy the most hyper light equipment available, our bodies still have to be capable of carrying it. And while I have already emphasized a need for physical strength and endurance, we also need to be able to fuel our body optimally while in the field to get the best results. It’s kind of like putting racing tires on a hot rod, then fueling it with the cheapest low octane fuel you can find. Will it work? Maybe, but you’ll be getting far better results if you put the proper fuel into the engine, and that’s what this post is about.

A lot of the information is going to be presented by a very thorough series of videos on YouTube from the GearSkeptic channel. Plan on spending a few hours working through these videos and the accompanying material. I took a lot of notes and I would encourage you to do the same. While the subject of these posts is for field use I think a lot of the information is useful for other survival needs as well.

I found these videos to be very helpful at filling in the gaps I had in my own performance nutrition knowledge. These videos are a perfect complement to this series because of the facts that they are geared towards back country hiking with an emphasis on the sorts of nutrition that is most helpful as well as a focus on reducing weight and bulk. It’s about getting the most “bang for the ounce” out of the weight you are carrying, just like all the other gear we carry.

Using the methods and information provided I was able to come up with my own meal plans that pack over 3000 calories a day, meet all my back country nutritional needs, and most importantly weigh around 1.25 pounds per day. This is nearly double the amount of calories I was carrying before while reducing the weight by .75 pounds per day. All this equates to being able to move faster and farther than I normally would have. With the knowledge and provided tools from the author you should be able to plan highly effective yet light weight meals for yourself as well.

Some of you may be turning off right now because I’m not throwing up a gear list of things to go buy, but for those of you wise enough to listen to these videos I think you’ll find it’s worth the price of admission. There’s a reason I’m putting this information first in the series…

There we go, see how they work together?

If you remember from part 1, mobility is one of our important concepts in considering our equipment, and our food is how we fuel ourselves to be mobile. The better our fuel, the better our mobility. Sustainability was also another important concept, and the better nutrition we put into our bodies the longer we can be out. And good nutrition also helps fuel our brains as well, which is important to mitigate the negative effects of being cold and tired.

Video 1 – Defining “Ultralight” Food for Backpacking and Bug Out Bags

Video 2 – Freeze Dried Back Packing Meals Rated by Calorie Density

Video 3 – Performance Nutrition for Backpackers, Part 1: Optimal Trail Fuel

Video 4 – Performance Nutrition for Backpackers, Part 2: Optimal Hike Recovery

Video 5 – Performance Nutrition for Backpackers, Part 3: Hydration Strategies

Video 5 – Performance Nutrition for Backpackers, Part 4: Electrolyte Balance


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